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Hall’s return has ripple effects

Feb 19, 2014, 11:55 AM EST

DeAngelo Hall Nov 22, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Washington Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall (23) returns an interception in the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys during a game on Thanksgiving at Cowboys Stadium. Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

With the signing of DeAngelo Hall to a four-year contract, the Bruce Allen-Jay Gruden Redskins made their first major move in a game of three-dimensional chess that stretches out several years in the future.

I wrote about the short-term implications yesterday. They are likely to start Hall and second-year player David Amerson at cornerback. An inexpensive veteran or two and maybe a draft pick will join the competition with Richard Crawford and Chase Minnifield for the nickel position and the other one or two cornerback roster spots.

That will set them up at cornerback for 2014. But Hall being back also has long-term implications at safety. He will play cornerback this year, at age 30, but in 2015 or 2016 it is likely that Hall will move over to safety. So the Redskins need to consider that when evaluating what to do this year at both safety and cornerback.

The Redskins may look more for a short-term solution at free safety knowing that Hall will be an option there down the road. If they lock up somebody like Jairus Byrd for five years, they may be wondering what to do with Hall when his skills are best suited to the safety spot.

They also need to consider a succession plan at cornerback. If the staff doesn’t believe that Crawford and/or Minnifield have the potential to start eventually, the best course of action might be to bring in a cornerback in the draft and groom him to take Hall’s place when he’s ready to go to safety.

  1. kenlinkins - Feb 19, 2014 at 1:41 PM

    D. Hall is signed for 2014 at $4.25 million. That’s not bad if he can give us another year like 2013 but I question the move to safety. All we heard for the past 3 years is that our 3-4 defense calls for Safeties that can play both FS and SS, and I do not see D. Hall as a SS. If we draft someone like LSU ILB Lamin Barrow who could be more of the Super SS that lines up a Fletcher spot maybe you have something. It helps the pass rush, helps coverage on Slot WR, TE’s / RB’s, and won’t allow the Offense to know if you are in Run Stop or Pass Stop mode (which was the biggest problem I saw in 2013). Redefining the “Thumper” ILB role could be the key to making our 3-4 work much better. Replacing “Thumper” with “lightening” and squaring up our “Sweeper” ILB could be very cool! I also think this would also help our whole D-line as teams would not always just be looking for Orakpo to rush on passing downs and allow him to use “Run Blitz” some times (when was the last time you saw that). We might give up a few more yards on the ground some games as “Lightening” LB want to grab and hold, not hit and drop, but as long as we are outside the 10 yard line I like this kind of idea. So yes, signing D Hall could have a ripple effect for the better.

  2. captblood3000 - Feb 19, 2014 at 4:58 PM

    I’ve thought all along that the Redskins should use the #34 overall pick on the Best Player Available. There are 5 positions where teams often reach in the draft, with the Hall signing the only one of those positions not covered is rush linebacker. So I think the D. Hall signing makes franchising or resigning Orakpo more likely. And BPA at #34 is most likely to be a defensive player. It doesn’t much matter what position that player plays. Talent will help them wherever they put it. So I’m optimistic about this year’s draft, and the change of a much improved defense in the fall.

    If Redskins load up at cornerback that they’ll move Amerson to FS. I predicted Amerson as their first pick in the 2013 draft, on the assumption that he could fill a need at CB or FS. There was a run on cornerbacks after the Amerson pick, so the value in the later rounds was at safety. And Amerson played CB.

    My prediction this year is that they’ll select Roberson, CB from Florida, at #34. If so, he would play the same role Amerson played last year. Amerson starts, and Hall starts and plays slot corner. They can address ILB and D line in later rounds. Thoughts?

    • maxpower65 - Feb 19, 2014 at 11:56 PM

      I think BPA at #34 this draft will be either OT or WR, from what I’ve read. Though either of those positions are also a need.

  3. alextwrs - Feb 20, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    D. Hall is a young thirty even being in the league this long with a veteran presence. He seems to still have a good first step and likes the challenges of bigger recievers like Dez. Good signing, not sure about the future safety transitions, as he is not the biggest CB out there. With all of the nickel coverages, he wil play CB for three more yrs. Get a stud OT or MLB, I know, hard to find in the second round. A larger safety would help as well. I dont trust any rookie WR out of this draft after rd 1.

  4. jayovalentine - Feb 20, 2014 at 1:27 PM

    I’m hoping Kelvin Benjamin slips to 34.

  5. captblood3000 - Feb 20, 2014 at 4:59 PM

    For your pick at #34, show me a mock draft where that player is available. Not your own mock draft.

  6. rcjur - Feb 20, 2014 at 5:53 PM

    Redskins should have targets on 2 players at #34 and pick whoever is available between DT Aaron Donald and CB Kyle Fuller. This team top needs in my opinion are DT, CB, S, Guard and LB. They can get them all in the draft. Good players that can start if needed and they can get valuable vets in FA ie: Talib CB, Hood DT which I hope. Teaming DT Ziggy Hood with Aaron Donald would take this team to another level because guys like Cofield and Baker need to be backups this year, especially Cofield or else improvement will be minor once again. Time to get real improvement on defense first before offense.

  7. alextwrs - Feb 21, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    Yea Benjamin might go top 20. No chance at him unless we trade up.

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